MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said on Monday that she fears the ongoing housing protest will lead Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to attempt to carry out far-reaching political measures, such as recognition of the 1949 armistice lines.
Hotovely, who spoke to Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew-language news service, said that a housing shortage does exist and cannot be denied. She said this problem occurred because government policy did not allow for development and construction in the periphery in both northern and southern Israel, and added that the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria also greatly added to the housing problem.
She said, however, that the behavior of the protesters must be carefully looked at.
“This protest is not being led by those who seek to correct what is wrong, but by those who seek to overthrow the current government,” she said. “This is a supposed popular protest but it is encouraged by the media. I watched on Saturday night in amazement at how the three major networks covered the demonstration for three hours with no breaks. Six years ago when there were protests against the disengagement, were there any media reports about it? The media has mobilized to bring down Netanyahu.
“You cannot ignore such a large number of people who go out into the street but there are protesters there with a childish economic concept,” added Hotovely. “There are protesters with a socialist approach which caused a rise in unemployment rates in other countries.”
Hotovely also identified centralization as a problem that must be acknowledged, and said that a free, competitive market should exist. At the same time, she noted, these issues cannot be allowed to silence the political issue.
“September is approaching and the Palestinians are running to the UN, and Netanyahu is passing messages through his envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, regarding negotiations based on the ‘1967 lines,’ she said, adding that the protests are causing people to forget the political issue.
In this context, she reminded the behavior of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
“Six years ago Sharon decided on the disengagement, a move that diverted the attention away from the investigations against him,” said Hotovely. “We might see here destructive processes laid down on the table just to divert the public attention from the protests, and we need to prepare for that. The issue of the Land of Israel must not come off the agenda, let alone the internal agenda of the Prime Minister and the government ministers.”
She added that ever since Netanyahu declared his willingness to accept the idea of two states, an open eye should have been kept by members of the Likud, as such messages have dangerous implications for the future and should not be uttered.
In light of all this, Hotovely called on the Likud’s Knesset members to be vigilant and not take things off the public agenda, despite the fact that the media sets public priorities and puts the spotlight on the social protests.
“We have to deal with the social problems but also remember that we in the Middle East and September is approaching, and we have to deal with the fact that the prime minister formally declared his willingness to make concessions,” she concluded.